• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

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MSFS Where are the MSFS Materials in Max 2020/2021?

I do not show them. Now running Max 2021 with newest SDK 6.1

Is it hiding? A secret button? Is mine broke?
 

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Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
Does the new SDK v0.6.1 now work with 3ds Max 2021?

I had Max 2021 and SDK v0.6.0 installed, but the SDK Tools were not visible in 3ds Max 2021. I had read somewhere that 3ds Max 2021 was not fully supported in SDK v0.6.0. That's why I switched back to 3ds Max 2020. All SDK tools are available there. But I would have preferred to use 3ds Max 2021 with the new SDK v0.6.1. I will test it, maybe 3ds Max 2021 will work again with SDK v0.6.1
 

SDK release 0.6.1​


SDK changes​


  • Documentation updates:
  • Added support for 3DS Max 2021.
  • Samples
  • WASM
    • Added partial GdiPlusMatrix implementation.
  • SimConnect
    • Fixed SimConnect_RequestFacilitiesList.

Developer mode changes​


  • Project Editor
    • Added Build All & Clean All buttons.
  • Scenery Editor
    • Fixed polygons and rectangles not correctly filtered by package.
    • Improved ground merging parameter edition.
    • Fixed crash when adding jetways
  • Aircraft Editor
    • List is now properly resized depending on the name in General panel
 

Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
I've now looked at that and installed 3ds Max 2021 in addition to 3ds Max 2020. Then I uninstalled SDK 0.6.1 and then installed it again (so that both Max versions are recognized by the SDK during the installation).

So it is likely that not all tools of SDK 0.6.1 will be available in 3ds Max 2021. I could already see that in 3ds Max 2018, not all of the tools were available there.

But in 3ds max 2020 all tools of SDK 0.6.1 are available. I've added two screenshots:


3dsm20_mfs_sdk_061.jpg

3ds Max 2020 and SDK 0.6.1...



3dsm21_mfs_sdk_061.jpg

3ds Max 2021 and SDK 0.6.1


You can see the difference very clearly! In 3ds Max 2021, fewer tools are listed under the "FlightSim" menu.


Edit
Here are the documented Max versions and the tools available:

2019.3 and 2020 :​

NOTE : If you’re using 2020 you will need 2020.2 to use the export tools, the rest will still work
  • FlightSim Light
  • FlightSim Material
  • SphereFade
  • AsoboSphereGizmo
  • AsoboCylinderGizmo
  • AsoboBoxGizmo
  • MaterialTool
  • ObjectsRenamer
  • Babylon
  • Babylon Utilities/Create Animation Group From Selection
  • Legacy Modeldef Converter
  • MultiExporter
  • WiperTool
  • PBRViewportManager (In the viewport window [+]/FlightSim IBL/… )
  • Babylon Utilities/Update Container ID
  • Plane Validation/Fix End Lines
  • Plane Validation/Layers
  • Plane Validation/LODs Hierarchy
  • Plane Validation/Nodes
  • Plane Validation/Unique Names
  • Plane Validation/Rebuild Nodes (risky)
  • Count Materials
  • Animation Tools
  • LOD Utilities


2021 :​

  • FlightSim Light
  • FlightSim Material
  • SphereFade
  • AsoboSphereGizmo
  • AsoboCylinderGizmo
  • AsoboBoxGizmo
  • MaterialTool
  • ObjectsRenamer
  • Babylon
  • Babylon Utilities/Create Animation Group From Selection
  • Legacy Modeldef Converter
  • MultiExporter
  • WiperTool
  • PBRViewportManager (In the viewport window [+]/FlightSim IBL/… )
  • Babylon Utilities/Update Container ID
  • Count Materials
 
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Nice find, Christian. Maybe I should stick with Max 2020 for now till 2021 is updated. I wonder if they are just moving around certain things and 2021 got a modified, streamlined version? Maybe some of those tools were put into the Babylon Utilities menu slot? Just wondering.

I compared menu's last night between 2020 and 2021 and mine looked identical. I must have missed this.

Are you running your Max 2021 in German? Curious


Still, the question lingers... Where are the Materials for FlightSimulator MSFS in Max? How are people doing it?
 
I just rechecked my menu for Flightsim tools in 2021. You are quite correct. I thought maybe I had a different version.

Perhaps they are moving 'some' of those settings and things to the 'right click/Babylon' scene options, directly at the part instead of the top menu bar? Just an idea. I see they have 'select part/right click/Babylon....' and also 'deselect parts (none selected) right click/Babylon.....' also for scene Babylon management of settings.
 
I'll bet they updated the 'flightsim material slot' with the 'Materials Editor tool in the Flightsim toolbar, top of Max. Converts a PBR to FlightSim material. I was going by the SDK. I found this while looking around. I had wondered how it worked. Going to experiment with it.

Just to be sure, I uninstalled and re-installed the MSFS SDK and it didnt change the menu in the Materials Library. No Flightsim material slot.
 

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Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
Nice find, Christian. Maybe I should stick with Max 2020 for now till 2021 is updated. I wonder if they are just moving around certain things and 2021 got a modified, streamlined version? Maybe some of those tools were put into the Babylon Utilities menu slot? Just wondering.

I compared menu's last night between 2020 and 2021 and mine looked identical. I must have missed this.

Are you running your Max 2021 in German? Curious


Still, the question lingers... Where are the Materials for FlightSimulator MSFS in Max? How are people doing it?
As far as I can see, the advantage of 3ds Max 2021 is that there are new functions for Physically Based Rendering, or PBR for short:

3dsm_2021_pbr_substance.jpg

New Funktions in 3dsm 2021 (PBR / Substance?)

But I haven't looked at it that closely, but that makes me curious. The missing SDK tools made me only use 3dsm 2020 :)

I only use 3ds Max in English. Most of the help or tutorials are in English. You won't get very far with German :)

I use the Slate Mode instead of the Compact Mode. The Slate Material Editor is clearer for me. To create a new FlightSim material, I click on the empty area of the Material Editor and then select the FlightSim material in the drop-down menu. I then drag the textures into the respective slots. As here in the example Base Color and Normal:

3dsm_material_editor.jpg
 
I use the Slate Mode instead of the Compact Mode. The Slate Material Editor is clearer for me. To create a new FlightSim material, I click on the empty area of the Material Editor and then select the FlightSim material in the drop-down menu. I then drag the textures into the respective slots. As here in the example Base Color and Normal:

Ahh....! I'll check that out! Many thanks, Christian.
 
So... Max 2020 has FS Materials in Slate mode only... and Max 2021 has Substance....

A fork in the road, lolol....
 
I had imported the SimpleAircraft fuselage into the Max scene and copied out the material from it. But its like 10 or more layers of materials in it. Multi Material. I wonder if there is a way to pull out a sub-material into its own Material slot? That should work in Max 2021, right? Did you try to export your project through 2021 yet? Or are you sticking with 2020 for now?
 

Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
A great Slate Material Editor tutorial by Arrimus 3d on YouTube.

Some amazing things that the Slate editor can do that I didnt know was possible.

That's exactly why I use the Slate Material Editor. There you can wire the different materials and keep track of them. That was important in the P3D, but in the MFS, I don't yet know whether it is intended to wire the various materials.

Because 3ds Max 2021 doesn't have all SDK tools, I haven't done a glTF export yet. I do all exports with 3ds Max 2020.2 without exception. It works 100%. Hasn't had any problems with it so far.

In order to isolate the corresponding texture from a sub-material, I have previously detached the corresponding meshes from the 3-D model and fetched the corresponding texture in the Material Editor with Material -> Get from Selected.
 
With 2021, I don't see a Flightsim material in the Slate editor, unless I load a file from a previous version (2019 for me) with the material already created. I can edit/add flightsim materials to my scene, but switching to the normal editor crashes Max.
There's also the Flightsim menu, which offers 'material tools' - 'Physical material to Flightsim materials', but I've never got this to work.
 
That's exactly why I use the Slate Material Editor. There you can wire the different materials and keep track of them. That was important in the P3D, but in the MFS, I don't yet know whether it is intended to wire the various materials.

Because 3ds Max 2021 doesn't have all SDK tools, I haven't done a glTF export yet. I do all exports with 3ds Max 2020.2 without exception. It works 100%. Hasn't had any problems with it so far.

In order to isolate the corresponding texture from a sub-material, I have previously detached the corresponding meshes from the 3-D model and fetched the corresponding texture in the Material Editor with Material -> Get from Selected.

Nice... Many thanks, Christian.
 

Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
There is one more point that occurred to me. I had to update 3ds Max 2020, otherwise I didn't have any export tools. Only after the update to version 2020.2 were all SDK tools available :)
 
So... They have the Substance 'plugin' for older 3ds Max versions also... :) So with Max 2020 having MSFS materials, we can add the Substance plugin to it and we are ahead of 2021... At least till Asobo can get 2021 updated and to speed.
 

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Christian Bahr

Resource contributor
The SDK says that 3ds Max 2021 is not yet fully supported: "The Microsoft Flight Simulator SDK is designed to work best with 3dsMax 2019.3. We made the compatible tools available for earlier versions and it will work with later ones, though some tools will not be available for 3dsMax 2021."
So... They have the Substance 'plugin' for older 3ds Max versions also... :) So with Max 2020 having MSFS materials, we can add the Substance plugin to it and we are ahead of 2021... At least till Asobo can get 2021 updated and to speed.
Thanks Bill for a lot of good information!

Unfortunately I haven't had any experience with Substance. This may not even be necessary when using photoreal image material. So far I assumed that you only use Substance for generic textures to bring a certain depth into them. As soon as 3ds Max 2021 is 100% supported by the MFS SDK, I will also switch. Until then, I'll stay with 3ds Max 2020.2. But I'm really looking forward to Max 2021, especially Substance! :)
 
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